(AllHipHop News) Educators/activists/rapper Dr. Cornel West and the Rev. Jesse Jackson are leading a group of artists and executives who are demanding cultural diversity from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).
NARAS is the organization that produces the annual Grammy Awards, which honors the top performing music artists, producers and engineers, in a variety of categories.
But The Grammys has been under fire for sweeping changes the organization has made to the categories.
Dr. West and Rev. Jesse Jackson are working with artists/organizations like Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Grammywatch.org and now, Presente.org, in the battle to restore diversity to The Grammys.
Presente.org, which is the largest online Latino advocacy organization in the U.S., has joined in the growing criticism of The Grammys.
The artists and activists are upset that NARAS eliminated a number of categories, comprised mostly of ethnic music.
Categories like Gospel, R&B, Traditional and Contemporary Jazz, Latin Jazz, Traditional and Contemporary Blues, Cajun/Zydeco, Polka, Mexican Norteña, Native American and Hawaiian music have been eliminated.
To make matters worse, the activists say the changes were done without the knowledge of the organizations 21,000 members.
“Neal Portnow and the big bosses at the Grammys have committed a deplorable act of greed and racial discrimination by deleting music categories that are so central to the lives of so many,” Presente.org Executive Director, Arturo Carmona, said. “Portnow and the Grammys have nothing to celebrate and deserve an lifetime achievement award for putting profit over people. We are honored and highly motivated to join the fight to re-institute the deleted categories on behalf of the millions who love Latin jazz, Gospel, R&B and other musical genres.”
Over the past year, the Grammys have come under fire for their alleged lack of diversity in honoring all forms of music.
Last year, music industry/advertising executive Steve Stoute wrote an open letter to The Grammy’s in a full-page ad in The New York Times .
He most recently sat down with the Associated Press, where he further discussed The Grammys’ lack of ethnic diversity, along with their alleged exploitation of Hip-Hop music.